How the Rock Makes Us Feel

The night’s not singing
hymns to us.
That’s just fools
warbling around the piano
in that bar across the street.
And ghosts aren’t on the prowl.
Strictly wind, lover,
strictly wind.
The shake of trees…
you know the type.
Critters crackling through
the underbrush.
Sure, the trunk has roots
but you and I?
We go back as far
as our last tears.
And when was that?
The evening’s mute
for all our passing through it.
It knows a time
before men, before women.
And nothing since then,
I might add.
Let’s sit here,
these rough stones.
uncomfortable as it may me.
Kiss while we can
but this is the reign
of the pitiless rock.

* * * * *

John Grey is an Australian born poet who works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Poem, Caveat Lector, Prism International and the horror anthology, “What Fears Become”, he has work upcoming in Potomac Review, Hurricane Review and Pinyon. His other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Another Hobby

the phenomenon of biting one’s nails
necessitates sharp teeth,
& practice
[practice makes perfect],

But as teeth begin to trip into decay
you have to learn another hobby,
though ardous.

the phenomenon of sawing trees up
necessitates sharp saws,
& practice
[practice doesn’t make perfect this time],

& as earth begins to trip into decay
you have to learn another hobby,
though ardous.

* * * * *

Ali Znaidi lives in Redeyef, Tunisia where he teaches English at Tunisian public secondary schools. His work has appeared in The Camel Saloon, Otoliths, The Tower Journal, streetcake, The Rusty Nail, Yes,Poetry, Shot Glass Journal, Ink Sweat and Tears, Mad Swirl, Unlikely Stories: Episode IV, Red Fez, Carcinogenic Poetry, and other ezines. His debut poetry chapbook Experimental Ruminations was published in September 2012 by Fowlpox Press (Canada). He also writes flash fiction for the Six Sentence Social Network—

See his other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure here.

A Longing In Everything

B.T. Joythere is a longing

in everything

a longing in the stones

and a longing in the trees


within the apple’s sweetened pith:

there is a brownish clove of apple-seed

that, undisturbedly, sleeps

with its murmur of branches hissing

in the breezes of centuries to come

and we discern

early-morning hunger in this line of crows;

in the shuffle of wings; the hop and stagger

of talons on the cold station walls

driving in today

and round bales of hay had been spread

out beneath the roundness of the frost moon

a dark hawk circuited in the deadly white

of sea-harr drifting up from shore

and I thought I saw

pagodas soar in the crimson rent of daybreak:

their blue and purple roof-tiles curling

like aching fingers on the sky’s flushed palm

still the wings are whirling

and without a call the birds of prey

swoop and dive determinedly

through siftings of celestial light

moonlight and sunlight

light flush on water and crisp on hay

and all this without saying

what secret engine makes

each mechanism run

what makes the shadows

of blackbirds fleet

from the garret’s darkness?

what makes the crane

explore the water’s brink?

and I think if only

one thing from nature spoke

I would understand at once

what longs

and what can satisfy

what seeker’s hand reaches

for the moon; or for the sun

what light it is that cools;

and what light burns

like trees

that cover travellers

in a cloak of tender shade

like stones

that sing through the open air

in a crackle of ecstatic prayer

* * * * *

B.T. Joy is a Glaswegian poet currently living in Bridge of Weir; where he teaches High School English. He received a First Class Honours degree in Creative Writing and Film Studies in 2009 at London Metropolitan University and has, since then, had poetry published in Australian, Irish, American, British, Japanese and Hongkongese journals. He is also the author of two volumes of haiku In The Arms Of The Wind and The Reeds That Tilt The Sky, published in 2010 and 2011 respectively. His haiga have appeared with the World Haiku Association, Haiga Online and Daily Haiga. In 2012 he was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Education by the University of Strathclyde as part of the last cohort to undergo teacher education at Jordanhill College.

Guest edited by Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke

Blowing In the Wind III

This is a different day, not so easy as before
wind up high
dreams wafting about;

someone measures a tree’s girth
or watches a bird always at home
in its travels
wild, untouched;

people are strolling around the world
nearly spring;
in Iraq at a bistro
he says I don’t mind the bombs-
Iraq is so beautiful and things will get better;
it’s too late for any more positives
on this over-extended Earth-
in a science fiction anesthesia.

East Germany before that war…
what was the gist of it…no protests permitted?
Clouds roll over properties for sale.

Just back from China
our tired neighbor says “this is my home… sometimes”
(when the corporation decides..

There are no birds on the sprayed lawns
and people are homeless from Climate Change storms…
too late to turn back.

From the back porch steps
he notes “the crocuses are in bloom
and that’s a good thing.”

* * * * *

Joan Payne Kincaid has published a collection of work entitled Greatest Hits with Pudding House Publications. She has also published a book with Wayne Hogan entitled The Umbrella Poems in which we both contributed drawings of some of our poems.  She has also published a collection of haiku entitled Snapshoots on the web at <>. Her work has been published in Gargoyle,Hawaii Review, Limestone Poetry Review, Licking River Review, Iodine, Hampden,Sydney Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, Santa Clara Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, South Central Review, The South Carolina Review,  Cross Currents, Georgetown Review, Edgz, 88,  Oyez, Modern Haiku, Iconoclast, Lynx Eye, Yalobusha Review, Mother Earth Journal, Tule Review, The Quarterly, Cairn, among others.

Her other submissions can be seen here.

Sterility’s Dead


have it on good authority
that the plum tree is pregnant
and so is the mighty oak at the
far end of the garden.
Watch with me their nine month,
See the fruit come to splendor,
leaves to color,
and then doctor gravity, doctor wind,
will jerk the babies free,
slap their backs for good measure.

And yes, the fence is with child,
even where it sags,
and 1 speak for the garden when I say
a flower is due any day now.
Scratch a newspaper and births pop up.
Even songs on the radio
just can’t help being fertile.
Listen to that chorus
and tell me that drum kicks
not an umbilical cord snapping.

Feel your stomach if you will
but remember the kettle will
soon hiss steam child,
the coffee pour from deep inside
its egg sac.
In this world, nothing’s sterile for long.
I kiss you, step away.
See, you just had me.

* * * * *

John Grey is an Australian born poet who works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Poem, Caveat Lector, Prism International and the horror anthology, “What Fears Become”, he has work upcoming in Potomac Review, Hurricane Review and Pinyon. His other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Exposure № 056: Rabbit, Rabbit, White Rabbit

Says Sabrina Goacher:

“The image is part of a collection called Rabbit, Rabbit, White Rabbit. I wanted to create a dream-like fantasy state when planning this image,bringing it into the realms of desire and fetishism. I also drew inspiration from a  Vinyl by Bear Face: the image was a woman standing with nothing on but a wolfs head and knickers. This image had transfixed me for a long time. upon receipt of the rabbit head I got down to fetishizing a recognizable sex symbol (thinking along the lines of rabbits having lots of young and obviously hugh hefner’s play boy bunny empire) stripping the jane doe model down to nothing but her knickers and the rabbit head I feel that I made a raw fetishised image with a play on getting back to nature.”

We love the creepiness of the image, and are pleasantly reminded of Donnie Darko.

Exposure № 010: Limbs

Photos by Sébastien Chou